The police officer charged with the death of George Floyd

The police officer charged with the death of George Floyd”

The trial for Derek Chauvin, the former U.S. police officer charged with George Floyd's murder, is set to start in Minneapolis on Monday, nearly a year after the African American man's death at the hands of the white cop stirred huge protests and heated debate about racial justice, policing and the history of race in America. A struggle ended with Mr Floyd face down on the pavement.

Sharpton said they will do it "to show the world how long it took for Chauvin to have his knee on that neck". The judge has not said which ones will be alternates and which ones will deliberate the case.

Floyd, 46, was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd's neck as he lay handcuffed on his belly on the pavement, crying "I can't breathe".

After jury instructions, prosecutors will begin with their opening statement, providing a road map of their case and telling jurors what they can expect to see at trial, said Mike Brandt, a local defense attorney who is watching the case closely. The group also carried a makeshift coffin, on top of which they placed flowers.

He said the trial would "provide evidence" of whether American's believe in the Declaration of Independence. And he blasted the idea that it would be a tough test for jurors.

Quoting the document he said: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator, with certain inalienable rights, that amongst them are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness - well America that means black people too".

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The prosecution will argue Chauvin's restraint of Floyd for almost nine minutes was a "substantial" cause of his loss of consciousness and, ultimately, death in police custody.

The 45-year-old Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with Floyd's death, which not only ignited sometimes violent protests and rioting in Minneapolis, St. Paul and elsewhere, but reignited the nation's debate over policing and race relations.

Prosecutors have not said when they will play the video, but legal experts expect it to be early in the trial - maybe even in the prosecution's opening statement - as they seek to remind jurors of what is at the heart of their case.

For the unintentional second-degree murder charge, prosecutors have to prove Chauvin's conduct was a "substantial causal factor" in Floyd's death, and that Chauvin was committing felony assault at the time.

Three other fired Minneapolis police officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, are expected to stand trial together in August on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. Manslaughter has a maximum 10-year sentence. Nelson has made clear that the defence will make an issue of Floyd swallowing drugs before his arrest, seeking to convince the jury that he was at least partially responsible for his death.

In an amended complaint, prosecutors with the office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison state that the medical examiner listed Floyd's cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest "complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression" and that the manner of death was ruled a homicide. "The guy was kneeling on my brother's neck ... a guy who was sworn in to protect. That was a modern lynching in broad daylight". "That was a modern-day lynching".

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